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Epifani PS 12's in UL212 cab

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by carvinbassplyr, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. So it's looking like my next cab purchase will be a 212. I think that paired with my PS410 will give me a much fuller tone spectrum live and also give me two different pallets to choose from as standalone cabs. My question, anyone used the PS12's in the UL212 cabs? I really like the sound of the PS series cabs/speakers, but Epifani doesn't offer a PS212, at least not anymore. I read in another thread that the PS12's in the UL212 had become "popular around the shop", so I was wondering if anyone here actually has/or has used this setup?
  2. Can anyone at least offer their opinions on the PS12 vs PS10 drivers or the PS12 vs UL12 drivers?
  3. figuredbass

    figuredbass Supporting Member

    Jul 11, 2007
    NYC vicinity
    I've A/B'd the PS210 to the UL210 (series 1), both 4 ohm. The PS has a bit more low end and a bit less center mids. It sounds very solid and muscular in the low end compared to the UL, though the UL is in no way low end shy. While I liked that solidity a lot, I preferred the mids that the UL has and would therefore choose it over the PS if I had to. That said, I do feel that the ideal Epifani driver would be something in between the two.;) The PS leans towards old school; the UL towards modern wide-range.

    Epifani 210s are sometimes referred to as "scooped" in the mids. However, this is not actually the case. This effect is due to:
    1. The drivers of a 210 are usually on the ground, very far from the ear and more off-axis to the ear than in, say, a 410.
    2. Jazz style basses with single coil pickups (stock or close to) and an onboard preamp with the lows and highs boosted greatly contribute to the "scooped" effect, from both the EQ and from some phase cancellation between the two pickups when they are both on.
    3. Epifani drivers (PS and UL) roll off less in the low end and also don't hype the mids the way some other brands do, further adding to the "scooped" perception.

    While I have a UL112 s2, I have not had a chance to play through any of the PS 12s, but I believe the differences between PS and UL 12s would be very similar to those of the 10s.
  4. I really wish I could get my hands on a UL cab locally to try out. My experience with neo drivers has not been good. I found most too thin or brittle sounding (either not enough low-end extension or WAY to much upper mid harshness). I stayed away from the UL's initially for that reason.

    Switching from an SWR GIII to an Epi PS410 was like a revelation. I mean the SWR usually sounded good if I was standing right against or just behind it (basically out of earshot from the tweeter), but as soon as you walked out from it all you got was mids/highs (like many neo cabs I've played). That's not the case with the PS410. However, if you're standing too close to the PS410 on a loud stage the high end does get a bit lost.

    Since the UL's are neo I figured/was afraid they would sound similar to my old GIII since most other neo cabs do IMO. Maybe a UL/PS 810 setup could work? The UL410 would have more mid presence while the PS410 would really fill in the low-end. At least I wouldn't be mixing driver sizes.
    The reason I was turned on to the PS410 was Andrew Gouche. I'd heard him play the same bass through his 2 PS410 rig and then later through an SWR Goliath Senior. His MTD sounded AWFUL through the SWR cab, even with his Epi amp. No depth and a bunch of "clank clank clank". That's when the light bulb went on that my GIII's were the culprit for my tone problems, so I ditched the GIII's and grabbed my PS410.

    Unfortunately Nick has ditched the PS410 cabs so getting a matching extension cab may become impossible. I did notice though that Gouche has since moved on to the Epi D.I.S.T. cabs, so maybe I should look into those instead of the UL's?
  5. I thought the current ULIII's were basically the PS speakers in the old UL boxes. I know the UL's do not use neo drivers anymore.
  6. Don't really agree with this. While some of the UL's are relatively even (like the original 410UL series I), the Series I and II 210UL had a MASSIVE drop from the mid mids through the upper mids.

    It is my understanding that the ULIII"s are basically the UL cabs with the PS drivers in them (or a similar ceramic variant)... so, heavier, but a little more meat in the low mids.
  7. The Epifani UL's were the least 'harsh' up top of any neo cab... very low end extended, not a lot of low mid meat, and a strong dip in the upper mids that let the tweeter kind of sit out there on its own. It makes much sense that the 'scoop sound' players like Andrew Gouche love them. Nothing wrong with that.

    The Series I UL's were based on B&C drivers, and had a nice mid mid voicing that went along with that huge (if not punchy) low end and the very relaxed upper mids). The Seried II cabs switched to Eminence drivers which removed that mid mid bump and widened the tone of the UL's even more.

    The DIST cabs were basically UL's with dual voice coil drivers so that impedance could change from 4ohm to 8ohm. The bad news is, with multiple driver large cabs like a 212 or 410, the impact of the impedance change was offset by lower efficiency... so basically the switch didn't do what it was hoped it would do. I believe that is why the only switchable impedance DIST cab is now the 112. (edit: I don't know what the heck they are doing now... they have ULII's back on the website, DIST cabs with the impedance switch, ULIII's.... who knows what it all is).

    The current UL's.. Series III (haven't heard of anyone trying or using one at this point) are basically ceramic drivers in the UL boxes, I assume due to cost of neo drivers going way up. My guess is, they sound much like the old PS line, but haven't heard them.

    Edit: I gigged one Epi cab or the other for about the entire decade of the 90's. Innovative stuff at the time. Interestingly enough, I replaced my Goliath III with a UL410 way back in the day. I lost interest in them when Epi kind of imploded a few years ago (trying to go low end with the Epifunky thing, increasing the weight of the ULII's without telling anyone, etc.), and when so many other more evenly voiced (IMO) neo cabs hit the market within the last 5 years or so.
  8. andertone

    andertone Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Southwest USA
    This discussion is exactly why I keep my original
    Epifania T212-NYC with the vertical alignment.
    I've played many 112 and 212 cabs, and still like the
    low end of the original cab (the tweeter not so much)
  9. I did not know this! Why wouldn't then just use the PS drivers then? These "new design" PS drivers obviously don't sound the same and the PS410 was a larger cab and had 4 circle ports that got the response down to 36Hz. The UL cabs only go down to 40Hz (same as a GIII) because of their smaller size and different port tuning. When you play a 5 string tuned to D standard, you need that low end extension to reproduce the low A. I also noticed they dropped the UL610...the only other cab that shared the same frequency response as the PS410. SMH, can't win...
  10. figuredbass

    figuredbass Supporting Member

    Jul 11, 2007
    NYC vicinity
    Early neos (from any manufacturer) did have problems with harshness or strange mid bumps. But these problems are being gradually solved by some (but not all) manufacturers. The neo products by Epifani and Bergantino are good examples of these excellent improvements. It's just a shame that neo has become so expensive that many manufacturers can't cope with the extra cost. An another unfortunate consequence is that the continuing improvement of neo driver technology may have slowed down.:bawl:I'm sure Nick Epifani more than anyone wishes he could offer next generation neos for the UL3 (or maybe UL4?) cabinets. Let's hope he's able to get there eventually...
  11. For now it seems as though the old saying is still true...tone-volume-weight, pick 2.
  12. figuredbass

    figuredbass Supporting Member

    Jul 11, 2007
    NYC vicinity
    I didn't think you would! :D While it is true that the UL2 series has lessened some of the mid peakiness and widened the tone more as compared to the B&C series I drivers, evening it out and widening it is not necessarily the same thing as actually "scooping" it (attenuating the mids). Even the UL210 s1 has often been considered "scooped". I only mean to say that the instrument/EQ factors are a bigger contributor to this than is often realized, where listeners attribute the scooped sound soley to the cabinet, and almost never to the instrument/setup. The Jazz Bass pickups I use have more midrange than stock types and even with a Sadowsky preamp don't result in a scooped sound from the UL210 or UL310 at all, but instead a very balanced sound that is close to what I get out of FOH or recordings. I have therefore never had to bump up the low mids at all with these UL cabs.
    OK - we'll agree to disagree.:)

    It was interesting that when we A/B'd the UL210 to a PS210 at a bass GTW, the UL surprisingly had more overall mids, though not in a peaky way. We were also all listening to them at about 20 feet away, which was very different than standing "on top" of it as when playing on stage with them.

    I think this may be the case.
  13. A lot of the "scoop" also comes from tweeter level/crossover point. Having the tweeter set too high or crossed over poorly (shallow roll off) will over power/overlap the mids coming from the drivers and the top heavy sound will give the illusion of "scooped" mids. Even on my PS410 I only set the tweeter between 10-11 o'clock which allows the mids from the drivers to really shine through :)

    I'm not surprised that you found the UL to have "more mids", it just depends on which mids you like. Most Neo's, as well as other ceramic driver 410's, are built/voiced to have a more forward mid (usually upper mid) sound as an effort to overcome the "scoop" that 10's have gotten a rep for. Eden XLT's have a 500Hz bump "built in" to the voicing of the cab and SWR Goliath's sacrificed low end extension to voice the drivers with more high-end "fidelity". This unfortunately, IMO, results in a honky, boxy sound to start with most of the time. The real problem is that if you set your tone based on that, the tone coming from your cab won't even resemble what the FOH gets from your DI, which can then lead to phasing problems due to bumps and valleys in your rig tone vs the FOH tone.
  14. +1 in general. However, a couple things again. The UL originals sounded quite different from the UL2's. And neither had any sort of 'upper mid bump', but rather a bit of a hole up there.

    From discussions with Nick back in the day, he used a more 'hi passing' approach to his crossovers, so you are right on there. The drivers are pretty much running full range,with the tweeter adding that sparkle, kind of floating on top of the cab. That is one of the reasons the slappers really flocked to the UL410 (I and II)... it had that upper midrange dip built in that allowed for the upper treble to sound very distinct and sweet.

    Some of the UL(I) cabs did have a rise in the mid mids, especially the UL410 and 310 to my ear. The UL210 still sounded flubby to me, and two UL210's sounded NOTHING like a UL410, which was a bit of a strange design decision.

    Things have come a LONG way since then. There are many neo loaded cabs now that have a nice low mid fatness, and a very even midrange all the way up to the tweeter kicking in.

    It is hard to generalize on this stuff, and especailly hard to generalize with the UL's, since within the line, they all sound quite different, and across the lines (I, II, and I assume III), they all sound yet different again,
  15. I can understand all the changes/constant redesigning of the Neo stuff, it needed it. It was/is new tech and the sound quality wasn't worth the weight savings in the early days. But why fix something that wasn't broken? The PS line was solid, sounded AWESOME, lighter than it's competitors and priced under them by a couple hundred dollars! It sold itself! Nick should ditch epifunky and UL to focus on bringing back the true PS line and working out the D.I.S.T. tech IMO.
  16. I agree that the PS cabs (I only heard the 112) were the best sounding Epi cabs (at least 112's) that I had heard.

    Again, my guess is the ULIII's actually are PS cabs:smug:
  17. They're being advertised as the "new ps line", but they've "updated" (changed) the drivers and the UL boxes aren't voiced like the original PS cabs. So, I doubt they resemble their former glory...
  18. figuredbass

    figuredbass Supporting Member

    Jul 11, 2007
    NYC vicinity
    I was surprised by this difference when we tried the cabs out at Epifani - we had expected the tone of the UL210 to be closer to the 310 and 410. I believe that the main difference results from the tonal differences between the 16 ohm drivers and the 8 ohm drivers. I can't even guess whether this was an intentional design decision or if it was just not possible (try as they did) to produce an 8 ohm driver that was closer in sound to the 16 ohm one.
  19. figuredbass

    figuredbass Supporting Member

    Jul 11, 2007
    NYC vicinity
    It's too bad there isn't quite the buzz with Epifani as there was a few years ago, and that there doesn't seem to be much feedback regarding the UL3 series. IF they are indeed the original PS drivers in a much lighter box, it could be exactly what you're looking for (IF the cabs boxes themselves are also voiced similarly enough to the original PS series). I'm curious about these myself, but now that I've been spoiled with UL series 1 weight, I don't want to start adding weight back to my gear, having taken 30 years to shed it...
  20. Well, unless the posted specs from either cab are inaccurate, the original PS410 had a frequency response of 36Hz-16Khz while the UL3/"new PS Line" cabs have a frequency response of 40Hz-16Khz. The original PS410 had an SPL of 101dB, while the UL3 has an SPL of 102dB, so you do gain some efficiency with the UL3...but that just means it's loud. I don't see how cabs with such varying specs could sound all that similar, but maybe Nick pulled it off.

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